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|12th September 2009, 23:40||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2009
Trip to Coorg - Nine days and four homestays
This is a report from April 2007. Unfortunately, I had camera troubles during the trip and there are very few photos to accompany the writeup.
We spent nine days in Kodagu. A lot of people were surprised that we found something to do for so long. Below is a brief travelogue on the things that we did and the homestays.
This is basically the bed-and-breakfast concept. Since there are many large houses in Kodagu, there is an extra charm in that place. There are supposedly 400+ home stays in the region. There is even a directory of home stays that one can buy for Rs 30. There are various associations of the home stay providers. Basically, this is a well established concept in Kodagu. Since many of the homestays are away from cities, the hosts provide lunch and dinner too. And many homestays are located in estates - this provides a resort-like feeling.
Outlook traveler would soon carry an 8-page article on homestays in Coorg. They plan to cover 5 homestays in all.
We stayed at four places - one near Somwarpet, two near Kakabe and one at Irpu. The experience and facilities varied, but was always positive. The end of the report has info on these places as well as links to list of homestays.
We did not visit any of the 'usual' places - Abbi falls, Madikeri, Tibetan temples, etc. Outlook has a guide on 100 hill stations in India. We used info from that to plan our trip.
Dubare elephant camp
This is a popular place. The Forest departments runs a camp here to tame the elephants. In the morning, one can join the elephants as they take a nice bath in Kaveri. Entry fee to the area is Rs 20 per head. One can also take a 20-minute 'safari' on the elephant. Kids definitely enjoy getting close to the elephants.
The camp is on the other bank of the Kaveri from the road. Boats charge Rs 20 per head for the trip. Just 50 m upstream, the riverbed has many large rocks. Outside the monsoon months, it is possible to hop across the river. We did this and the kids had a blast. Between the boulders, particularly closer to the opposite bank, there are many places where you see natural pools. Dunk yourselves into these pools and you can have a great time. Just remember that crocodiles roam 50 m upstream, and elephants take bath 50 m downstream.
This is a small town in South Coorg, at the foothills of Mt. Tadiyandamol - the tallest peak in the region and the second tallest peak in Karnataka. Hiking up this peak is a good day's effort. The area is at a good elevation - 800 m and above - and has a good range of coffee estates, planted forests and natural forests. During monsoon, it is possible to do river rafting in the area. There are many estates in this area that offer homestays. There are no 'touristy' things in this area though - there is Nalnad Palace which was used as a retreat by some kings. It is not a grand structure and is closer to Tipu's summer palace in Bangalore in terms of size.
Honey Valley Estate in this area is well-known. It is a great place to be if you like treks. Palace Estate is another good option.
One of the blogs on the trek is here: Junglee: Tadiyandamol
This is very close to Nagarahole national park. Irpu has mythological connection with Ramayana and there is a river called Lakshmana Thirtha in the town. A 1 km, very easy trek from the town takes you to Irpu falls. There is a bamboo platform under the falls. Anybody during non-monsoon and the intrepid during monsoon can take a dunk under the falls. And there are numerous places to get into the river and enjoy.
The best thing to do here is to trek 9 km to Bramhagiri peak - either in one shot - or after a night stay at Narimala forest rest house (4 km trek from Irpu falls). The treks require permission from the forest department. Here is an excellent blog on this trek:
India Travel Blog Coorg: Irpu and Trekking in Brahmagiri - travelogues, travel guide, places to see and information
The main visitor centre of Nagarhole (the one near Kutta) is close to Irpu - about 18 km. If you stay at Irpu, you can hope to catch one of the early morning tempo safaris into the jungle.
The places that we stayed in
1. PN Heritage
Belur Village & Post
Somwarpet, North Coorg - 571 236
Ph: +91 8276 282171, 9448482171, 9880129016
Bangalore (O) : Ph : +91-80 22211339, 9844198339, 9341888875
Green Dreams Holiday > Home Stays, Natures way
This is about 20 km from Kushalnagar and 10 km before somwarpet. Has 3 2-bedrooms and 2 6-bedrooms. Is in a small estate. Food was excellent. The hosts are strict vegetarians; vegetarian guests are entertained in their home. They have a separate kitchen for non-veg food and a common dining hall.
2-bedroom - 1000 per night
Lunch/Dinner - 100 per person
Breakfast - 50 per person
2. Honey Valley Estate
In India, Lodging in Good Hiking Territory in the Western Ghats
Kodagu - 571 212
Honey Valley Estate in this area is well-known. It is a great place to be if you like treks. Their estate practices are closer to nature than others. The location also has natural forests very closeby. Most of the guests come for treks. The hosts have mapped out a lot of routes and can share this with you. HV grows most of its produce and even generates electricity from hydropower. Someone joked that they only buy wheat, whiskey and beer from outside.
They have a range of room - from 1-br to 10-br - and a range of prices - from 200 per night to 1500 per night. Dinner/lunch is 90 per person and breakfast is 60 per person. They can accommodate upto 60 people at a time, and they are building a few more 'cottages'. Due to the number of people, HV has fixed times for meals and does not provide snacks.
The hosts' home is separate from the guests. But they make it a point to meet the guests, and see them off when checking out. IMHO, they seem to have stuck a good balance between commercialization and personal touch.
The URL above is dated. I have a recent brochure of HV with me with the correct information. Nowadays, they don't check emails regularly.
3. Palace Estate
WELCOME TO PALACE ESTATE, Home Stay, Mountain Retreat, Coorg
Palace Estate is in the same area as Honey Valley. In fact, one can hike between these two. It is a bit lower in altitude and has great, open views of the hills below, and parts of the route to Tadiyandamol. The hosts are a joint family of 3 brothers. The guest rooms are mostly in a separate building, the meals are in the hosts' house.
Like other places, there are many short walks possible from the room. The 1-br costs 600 per night and the 2-br between 1200 and 1500 per night. Dinner/lunch is 120 and breakfast is 80.
4. Irpu Resort
The name is misleading for this place. Irpu resort was one of the first homestays in the Irpu area and is basically a large house. The guests stay in the house itself. One bedroom is very big and has an attached bathroom. The other has a shared bathroom. Outlook is correct in calling the hostess 'gracious lady'. She charges 850 per person per day, including stay and food. The views are great from the house and clouds routinely sweep through the place.
BSNL signal is flaky in this place. If you are calling, keep trying till you get through. The number above is the correct one.
1. 100 hill stations in India - Outlook
2. Trekking holidays in India - Outlook
3. homestayincoorg.com- homestays
4. Green Dreams Holiday > Home Stays, Natures way
5. Karnataka Tourism
|16th September 2009, 10:22||#3|
Join Date: Sep 2007
Thanked: 133 Times
Details about the homestays will help a lot. Small question, since it is based on your April 2007 trip, I guess most of the quoted rates would have changed a lot. Last one year all most all homestays in Coorg has jacked up the prices.
|16th September 2009, 13:18||#4|
Join Date: Aug 2009
Thanked: 2 Times
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